This is a review of "Watch the World Go By" recorded by Serf. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2003.
"Watch the World Go By" is Serf’s new big single. The Americana guitar band sound is fine and dandy. The main song has a big dumb and terrific chorus and the layers of strong guitar are a treat. A couple of strangely sub-Sparklehorse sections make for a disturbed listening experience. Sharper production would have cut out the experiments and lifted this right into the big league. Companion track "Love Sex and Money" has another steamingly good chorus. The vocal track has a distortion effect all the way through this time and that doesn’t do anything but subtract from the bouncy cheerful mood of the whole thing. If Serf wanna go weird, they should make the break and do it. On the evidence of this CD their real strength is great hooky choruses and power pop guitar of the best kind. Fine harmonica too.
And just as you stop listening and go into the next room for a life change, secret track "Empty Space" rattles the chandelier with a storming live version of the band in its true spirit and all your staff go mental. It takes the rest of the day to sort out the mess. Eddie and the Hotrods, Doctor Feelgood, Bruce Springsteen - these are the heroes being honoured in blazing top form. Kieran Stokes has a great natural voice and the band’s 110% commitment to good time rock is plain as cheeseburgers. Live band supreme is my guess. So don’t touch ‘em with a bargepole if you can’t stand excited happy audiences.